Jeannette Kawas National Park
Jeannette Kawas National Park is also known as Punta Sal National Park.
More commonly known as Punta Sal National Park. This park is certainly one of the brightest shining stars of Tela. It is on the Western end of the Bay of Tela. You can see Punta Sal National Park from the city of Tela as a long peninsula that stretches out towards the north and forms the Bay of Tela. The Park however is much more extensive that the narrow peninsula known as Punta Sal. This Peninsula gives the park its unofficial name: Punta Sal. The parks official name is Jeannette Kawas National Park.
The Jeannette Kawas National Park includes the coastal sand bar that extends to the west of the Garifuna Village of Tornabe. This area is between the Caribbean Sea and the Laguna de los Micos. The park also includes all of Los Micos Lagoon, the largest saltwater lagoon in Atlantida, as well as the mangrove and forests that surround the lagoon. Finally the narrow peninsula with its two small, very beautiful coves on the western side of the peninsula are also part of the park. It is easy to understand why Jeannette Kawas National Park is the most visited National Park in Tela.
Visiting the Park
Punta Sal, is accessible by car only as far as the Garifuna community of Miami. This village is a truly picturesque Garifuna community. It is on a narrow sandbar between the Caribbean Sea and the Los Micos Lagoon. From there it is necessary to walk a long section of beach before you get to the peninsula. Alternately, you can get to Punta Sal by boat, which is what most people do. The trip is approximately a 45 minute ride through the Bay of Tela. Departures are from the sandbar that forms in the Lancetilla River, which divides the old and new areas of Tela. If you are lucky, you might run into a school of dolphins playing around your boat en route to the peninsula.
Typically, you will pass in front of Miami, and disembark at the base of the peninsula. From there a short hike across the peninsula will take you to enchanting Puerto Escondido. The hike, through a nice trail will allow you to get to know the coastal rain forest. With a bit of luck you may even encounter some howler monkeys. Upon arrival at Puerto Escondido you will find that your boat is waiting for you there. It is ready to take you around the point to Playa Cocalito. This beach is arguably the nicest white sand beach on continental Central America! Enjoy the beach, have a typical Honduran fried fish. Explore the reefs with the snorkel equipment that is provided. Simply have the time of your life before its time to return to Tela. It is easy to see why a visit to Punta Sal is one of the top things to do in Tela!
Tour Operators that Offer Tours to Punta Sal
There are several different options to purchase this trip. Garifuna Tours is the leading tour operator in Tela and has been operating this tour for 20 plus years. Eco Di Mare Tours and Tela Dive Center both offer the tour as well. Finally, you can visit the sand bar at the Lancetilla River. There you can barter with the local fishermen for them to take you to Punta Sal. Although this option might be the least expensive, do consider that the tour operators provide better preventive maintenance to their boats and usually have better life vests and snorkel equipment!